P&G and Gillette: Blades of Time

A look at some of the two companies' defining moments.

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Special Issue
WWD Milestones issue 11/30/2012

1901: King Gillette establishes the American Safety Razor Co., which changed its name to Gillette Safety Razor Co. in 1902.

1904: Gillette obtains patent for his safety razor design.

1910: The company enters sports advertising by unveiling print ads featuring baseball stars like Honus Wagner.

1915: The company introduces the first women’s razor, the MiLady Décolletté, packaged in a flowery feminine case and positioned as a tool for shaving under arms.

1917: The U.S. government requests Gillette supply razors and blades for the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I.

1938: Old Spice for Men is introduced.

1946: Gillette introduces its Blue Blade Dispenser, eliminating the need to manually unwrap blades.

RELATED STORY: P&G’s Patrice Louvet Talks Shave Care >>

1952: Gillette introduces its mascot, Sharpie the Parrot.

1953: Gillette Foamy Shaving Cream is launched.

1957: The Gillette Adjustable Razor is the first to offer three settings for light, medium and heavy beards.

1971: The Trac II razor, billed as the first twin-blade system — for a closer shave with less nicks and cuts — rolls out.

1975: The brand introduces Daisy, a disposable shaving option for women.

1976: Gillette launches Good News, the first disposable twin-blade razor.

1977: Atra, Gillette’s first pivoting-head razor, designed to provide better contact with the skin, makes its debut.

1989: Featuring the first spring-mounted twin-blade technology, Sensor was designed to adjust to the curves of the face for a more comfortable shave.

1992: Sensor for Women launches, featuring a first-of-its-kind lightweight, ribbed plastic handle, differing from heavier male designs.

1996: The Art of Shaving, founded by Manhattan-based couple Myriam Zaoui and Eric Malka, opens its first store in New York.

1998: Mach 3 offers the first triple-blade shaving system, coupled with spring-mounted and pivoting-blade technology.

2001: Gillette launches Venus, billed as the first razor “designed for women and their bodies,” with three individually adjusting blades, a rounded, pivoting head and protective cushions to guard against cuts.

2005: P&G acquires Gillette for $57 billion.

RELATED STORY: P&G Beauty Timeline, From Soap to Scent >>

2005: Gillette launches the Gillette Fusion shaving system — the first to feature innovative technology both on the front and back of the blade cartridge, with a five-blade shaving surface and a precision trimmer on the back.

2009: P&G acquires The Art of Shaving.

2010: Fusion ProGlide and ProGlide Power offers men thinner finer blades to minimize shaving discomfort.

2012: Fusion ProGlide Styler, a 3-in-1 tool for men who style their facial hair, is introduced, combining trimming technology from Braun with Gillette blade technology.

2012: Venus + Olay rolls out, combining the close shave of a Venus razor with Olay moisture bars foregoing the need of a shaving cream. For this launch the brand becomes Sports Illustrated’s first beauty partner.

2012: P&G sponsors a team of 24 athletes from 18 countries to represent Gillette at the London Olympic Games.

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